If you have no prior convictions on your record you may be entitled to have your official court records expunged or sealed. Even if you were placed on probation but completed it without a conviction (i.e. received a withhold of adjudication) you may still be able to have the records sealed.
We would first retrieve your record from the clerk along with a certificate of disposition and prepare the initial application for your review and signature (before a notary). Included in this packet is also the standard fingerprint card. You can go to any police department and have your fingerprints affixed to that standard form. Once the initial steps are completed, you would return the packet, including originals, to us.
When the signed application is received by our offices, we will then forward it to the State Attorney’s Office with a certificate showing the disposition of the charges, which, if approved, they will forward back to us. Thereafter, we forward the application along with the fingerprint card you supplied to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Once they review the application and fingerprints and confirm you have not previously been convicted of a crime, they will send us a certificate showing you are eligible for either expunging or sealing your records.
Once we receive the certificate of eligibility, we will prepare a Motion to Expunge or Seal your record (depending upon your eligibility) and file it with the Court, affixing the FDLE certificate. The court will set a hearing date and in most instances, you will never have to appear. The court signs an order expunging or sealing your record and it is forwarded to the arresting agency so they can likewise dispose of their records pursuant to the court order.
If you have been adjudicated and wish to contest your conviction then we can discuss with you the viability of filing a Motion to vacate your conviction under 3.830. This procedure is more complex and usually needs to be addressed in a timely fashion and should not be in any way delayed. Additional information can be discussed when you contact our office.
If you wish to pursue either remedy, feel free to contact our office so we can start the process on your behalf. I am Russell A. Spatz of the Spatz Law Firm, PL, in Miami, Florida, and I have decades of experience handling serious criminal cases. You may reach me at 305-442-0200 to get started on your case.